Talks fail and protests spread


President Viktor Yanukovych and the three main opposition leaders, Oleh Tiahnybok, Vitali Klitschko and Arseniy Yatseniuk failed to come to an agreement after further talks that lasted for four hours yesterday.

Meanwhile the protests spread outside of the capital Kiev into five regional councils across the west and centre of the country. Protesters occupied local council and municipal buildings in Lviv, Ternopil, Cherkassy, Rivne, and Khmelnytsky according to a report in the Kyiv Post.

The protesters want the resignation of the president and fresh elections, both of which the president looks unlikely to grant. However, President Yanukovych has indicated that he will call a special meeting of parliament on Tuesday; a sign that he recognises the situation is getting out of control.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov is in Davos for the World Economic Forum meeting and has tried to secure some support from world leaders. Below are two press releases from the Department of Information and Communication (there are many more on our Ukraine page) that have been issued on behalf of the Prime Minister:

“Mykola Azarov: There is a coup d’état attempt in Ukraine

23.01.2014 | 15:56
Department of Information and Communication of the Secretariat of the CMU

There is a coup d’état attempt in Ukraine. The Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov told to journalists in Davos (Switzerland).

“There is a coup d’état attempt in Ukraine. And all who support this coup must explicitly say: yes, we are for overthrow the legitimate authority in Ukraine and not to hide behind the peaceful protesters,” Mykola Azarov said.

However, he stressed that you cannot consider peaceful protests after the so-called peaceful protesters used Molotov cocktails, capture state institutions and commit other illegal activities.”

The second press release reads:

“Mykola Azarov: We stand for the constructive dialog with the opposition but we won’t afford any ultimatums

22.01.2014 | 21:44
Department of Information and Communication of the Secretariat of the CMU

The authorities stand for the constructive dialog with the opposition, a dialog about cessation of the confrontation in the centre of Kyiv, but they don’t understand ultimatum conditions set forth to stop it. The Prime Minister Mykola Azarov declared in Switzerland in an interview with the BBC channel.

The Premier emphasized the opposition who set off the demands must coordinate their weight and influence within the society with these demands. “I would like the opposition leaders, in particular Mr. Klychko, back out from the language of ultimatums. We know well the real sociology; know the level of support of every opposition leaders. That’s why they must be close tongued in the ultimatums. We have legally elected President, elected through the democratic elections. A huge amount of people support the President. Mass rallies in Kyiv and overwhelming majority of the regions prove that,” Mykola Azarov stated.

The Prime Minister underlined the authorities were ready for compromise, ready to negotiate with the opposition in the interests of the country.

“We are ready for the compromise, we are ready to negotiate and I consider it is possible. As it is in the interests of the country. The opposition leaders must understand that they are responsible for preventing bloodshed and the authorities are responsible for that. But the whole responsibility cannot be laid upon the Government. We must start returning Kyiv to the normal work,” Mykola Azarov summed up.”

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